Jun 20 2012
Atheist Richard Dawkins Supports Bibles in Schools [Excerpts]
World-renowned atheist Richard Dawkins says he supports the mission of England's Department for Education to make sure every public school in the nation has a copy of the 1611 translation of the King James Bible.
"A native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian," said Dawkins in a column he wrote for The Guardian.
The author and evolutionary biologist even went as far as to say he would have donated to the cause had he been given the opportunity to do so.
But Dawkins is backing the distribution plan, albeit with an "ulterior motive."
"I have an ulterior motive for wishing to contribute to Gove's scheme," he wrote. "People who do not know the Bible well have been gulled into thinking it is a good guide to morality ... I have even heard the cynically misanthropic opinion that, without the Bible as a moral compass, people would have no restraint against murder, theft and mayhem. The surest way to disabuse yourself of this pernicious falsehood is to read the Bible itself."
He shared a study conducted by The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in which only 35 percent of self-identified British Christians accurately identified Matthew as the first book of the New Testament. Among those surveyed, 39 percent said they "don't know" which book comes first.
[TBC: Not knowing the power of Scripture, Dawkins may be surprised at the result if the recipients read the book. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews:4:12).]